Nanotechnology Reviews publiceerde Ineke Malsch’ artikel “Nano-education in Europe: nano-training for non-R&D jobs online in December 2013. Het artikel bespreekt de behoefte aan kennis op het gebied van nanotechnologie onder professionals op het gebied van dialoog en communicatie, regulering en innovatiebeleid over nanotechnologie. Geïnterviewde in alle drie sectoren willen meer weten van nanowetenschap, nanomaterialen, risico’s, wettelijke en sociale aspecten van nanotechnologie, bij voorkeur in hun eigen taal. Deze studie is uitgevoerd in het project NanoEIS, gefinancierd door de Europese Commissie (KP7, project nr. 319054).

The Scientific and Technological Options Assessment unit (STOA) of the European Parliament explains how its new foresight methodology was used by Parliamentary Committees in its deliberations on robotics and artificial intelligence. The resulting European Parliament resolution on civil law rules on robotics, was adopted on 16 February 2017. Bill Gates and Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller reacted to the proposals, making suggestions about robot taxes.


The Committee on Strategies for Identifying and Addressing Biodefense Vulnerabilities Posed by Synthetic Biology of the USA National Academies presented its interim report during a webinar on 22 August 2017. The Committee was asked by the US Department of Defence to develop and deploy a framework for assessing biosecurity threats of recent developments in synthetic biology, and to prioritize options for addressing identified vulnerabilities. The webinar was used to collect feedback from experts and stakeholders on the interim report, which will be used to inform the final report, which is expected by 2018. Info:

In the European project NMP-DeLA (Nanotechnologies, Materials and Production Technologies Deployment in Latin America), Ineke Malsch offered Do-It-Yourself Ethics training to young scientists during summer schools in Argentina (May 2014) and Mexico (October 2014). During NMP-DeLA-workshops for researchers, policy makers and companies in Argentina, Mexico, Chile and Brazil, ethical and societal aspects of Key Enabling Technologies were also discussed. 

In the European project NanoEIS, a model-curriculum was developed, to prepare students for jobs in nanotechnology companies. Ethical and societal aspects are included in this. Ineke Malsch interviewed non-industrial employers, reported in: Nano-Education in Europe: nano-training for non-R&D-jobs, in Nanotechnology Reviews, Vol3, Issue 2, April 2014. In addition, she organised workshops with stakeholders in Utrecht and Poland. The results of NanoEIS are summarised in these publications:  

Ineke Malsch, Dorota Rutkowska-Zbik, Martin Himly, Costas Kiparissides, Olga Kammona, Bartlomiej Szafran, Iseult Lynch, Frederick Ntow, Paula Queipo Rodriguez, Moshe Talesnik, David Rosenberg, Albert Duschl. Current Trends in Nanoeducation for Industry and Society. In Current BioNanotechnology 2016, vol 2:

Ineke Malsch, Dorota Rutkowska-Zbik, Albert Duschl, Martin Himly, Thomas Zadrozny, Costas Kiparissides, Olga Kammona, Moshe Talesnik, Yoel Rothschild, David Rosenberg, Bartlomiej Szafran, Paula Queipo Rodriguez, Iseult Lynch (2016) NanoEducation for Industry and Society. In Springer Series on Innovation, Technology and Knowledge Management. Volume Managing Risks in Nanotechnology. Springer International Publishing Switzerland, 2016

In the European project Sustainable Nanotechnologies SUN, Ineke Malsch trained young researchers in Do-It-Yourself Ethics of Nanomaterials, during the Sustainable Nanotechnology Schools in Venice, Italy, in 2015 and 2016. The EthicSchool concept of responsible innovation has been developed further in three stakeholder workshops held in SUN, in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The results of  stakeholder consultations  are analysed in these publications:

Ineke Malsch, Vrishali Subramanian, Elena Semenzin, Alex Zabeo, Danail Hristozov, Martin Mullins, Finbarr Murphy, Igor Linkov, Antonio Marcomini. Comparing mental models of prospective users of the Sustainable Nanotechnologies Decision Support System, in Environment, Systems and Decisions, online first, June 2017.

Ineke Malsch, Vrishali Subramanian, Elena Semenzin, Danail Hristozov, Antonio Marcomini, Martin Mullins, Karena Hester, Eamonn McAlea, Finbarr Murphy, Syed A. M. Tofail. Empowering Citizens in International Governance of Nanotechnologies. In: Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 12 May 2015, 17:215

Ineke MALSCH, Vrishali SUBRAMANIAN, Elena SEMENZIN, Danail HRISTOZOV and Antonio MARCOMINI, Supporting Decision Making for Sustainable Nanotechnology, in Environment, Systems and Decisions, online first, 17-02-2015, March 2015, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 54-75

Ineke MALSCH, Vrishali SUBRAMANIAN, Elena SEMENZIN, Danail HRISTOZOV and Antonio MARCOMINI “Collective decision making on risk management and sustainable manufacturing of nanomaterials and the role of decision support tools”. In Proceedings 5th STS Italia Conference: A Matter of Design: Making Society through Science and Technology Milan, 12–14 June 2014 

In 2012-2013, two types of workshops and an online EthicSchool summer school have been organised. On 6 November 2012, Koos van der Bruggen and Ineke Malsch led the workshop Biosecurity-by-Design, for biosecurity professionals. On 21 March 2013, Ineke Malsch led the game on human enhancement with interested people. This game was also played in St. John’s church in Utrecht, during Holy Saturday on 30 March 2013.  From 9 to 13 September 2013, the online summer school was held, featuring lectures by Ineke Malsch, Guido Gorgoni, Lotte Krabbenborg, Paulo Martins, Brigitte Biermann, Jürgen Altmann, Alexei Grinbaum, Donald Bruce and Astrid Schwarz. 

EthicSchool started in 2007-2009 as a European project. Project coordinator Ineke Malsch organised summer schools on ethics of nanotechnology and of converging technologies, together with professors Arie Rip (Universiteit Twente), Jean-Pierre Wils (Radboud Universiteit) en Alfred Nordmann, assisted by Dr Maria Angeles Quesada (TU Darmstadt, Duitsland). The presentations and background materials are collected on an e-learning DVD, of which 500 copies were distributed:  

Arie Rip, Jean-Pierre Wils, Alfred Nordmann, Maria Angeles Quesada, Ineke Malsch (eds) Ethics of Nanotechnology and Converging Technologies, e-learning DVD, EthicSchool project

The results of a survey among users of this DVD in 2012 have been incorporated in these publications:

Ineke Malsch, “Responsible Innovation in Practice. Concepts and Tools” in Philosophia Reformata 78 (2013) I 47-63

Ineke Malsch, “Responsible Innovation in Practice” in Proceedings 2nd World Sustainability Forum, November 2012

In the European project Nano2All,  the EthicSchool concept forms the basis for trainings of participants in dialogue about nanotechnology. In April and May 2017, training materials were offered to participants in citizen dialogue events in six countries: France, Israel, Italy, Spain, Poland and Sweden. On 22 May 2017, Paulo Martins interviewed Ineke Malsch about “citizen responsibility for nanotechnology”. This is a sample of the training offered to all participants in Nano2All dialogue workshops in the Autumn of this year. 

Responsible Innovation is a skill that can be taught. The recipe consists of knowledge-transfer by experienced experts, followed by Do-It-Together experiments to gain hands-on experience with the issues. EthicSchool offers a balanced combination of theoretical knowledge and practical exercises in groups of colleagues. Currently, the following courses are available. Other training courses can be tailored to fit your needs. The column on the right features recent examples of EthicSchool-training in European projects.

Do-It-Yourself Ethics of Key Enabling Technology

Researchers and entrepreneurs used to introduce new technologies, leaving it up to society to deal with the consequences. Such a traditional approach to innovation has run its course. Responsible Research and Innovation calls for a paradigm shift to “Do-It-Yourself Ethics”: entrepreneurs must consider the potential impacts of people, planet and society, even during the process of developing new technologies. EthicSchool teaches your staff the latest insights and skills, allowing them to innovate sustainably and responsibly.

Ethics in Horizon 2020

Are you planning to apply for funding for a project under the European Horizon 2020 Research Programme? In that case, you are routinely asked to explain the potential ethical, environmental and safety risks, and how you intend to mitigate them. External experts will evaluate your ethical self-assessment. Based on their judgement, the European Commission may impose additional contractual requirements. Be well-prepared, and let Ineke Malsch train your employees in ethically sound proposal-writing.

Dialoog over nanotechnologie
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